Pimentel says he has recovered from COVID-19


Posted at May 02 2020 03:45 PM | Updated as of May 02 2020 04:26 PM

MANILA - Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Saturday confirmed he has recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), saying he has tested negative for the disease.

"Swab test taken April 13. Result around 10 days later. Negative," he said in a text message.

In March, Pimentel drew flak for accompanying his then pregnant wife to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) despite showing symptoms of the highly-contagious disease. He confirmed he had the disease while in the hospital.

Under the Department of Health's policy, symptomatic patients who were exposed to possible carriers of COVID-19 should remain in isolation for at least 14 days to avoid spreading the virus.

The MMC berated Pimentel's "irresponsible" and "reckless" actions, saying the senator exposed between 6 to 8 healthcare workers who have been tending to other pregnant women and patients in the hospital.

Pimentel initially denied breaching quarantine protocols, but later on apologized for his actions.

Despite his appeal for understanding, lawyer Rico Quicho filed a criminal complaint against the senator, noting that the lawmaker may be fined and imprisoned for up to 6 months if found guilty of violating the law on the mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases and epidemics.

The National Bureau of Investigation said that it would also summon Pimentel to explain his alleged quarantine breach.

Pimentel's camp had appealed to authorities and the public to give the senator time to recuperate before he faces the complaint lodged against him.

He is the third senator to have recovered from the disease, after Sen. Sonny Angara and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.